Let's characterize the three types of EDI customers: Hubs; Spokes; Ecommerce Service Providers (ECSP). A “Super Hub” accommodates all three types of customers.
Let's take a typical ECSP and describe their service offerings by reviewing their respective WebPages:
- Operate as a VAN2 (Electronic Commerce Communications Provider) and move EDI messages over the Internet (usually utilizing AS2). Interconnect with all of customer's trading partners.
- For customers needing more than basic EDI software but not staffed to handle the workload, Cloud software will manage the complexity so customer can focus on running their core business.
- Operate a business social networking site which is linked to roles in the organization (not necessarily to people, who could change). Makes ECSP network self-maintaining. Spokes can utilize this network to assist in finding suppliers and customers.
- Operate a comprehensive catalog which enables customers to share the latest product information including pricing, images and marketing content, to all of their trading partners. A complete product catalog management solution for new product setup and on-going maintenance. Customer uploads information and ECSP will aggregate, normalize and validate data to ensure that trading partners receive accurate and up-to-date information specific to their business rules. A good catalog should be a non-proprietary data pool, so it can send customer's information to any trading partner they request like, regardless of which catalog service trading partner uses. This means ECSP's customer no longer has to manage multiple files or catalogs in order to comply with your customer's requirements.
- Offer WebForms EDI both for current customer's to bring on their trading partner's and for new customers who have EDI requirements but no resources to implement in a traditional method.
- Trading Partner intelligence. Customers need every advantage to stay competitive. ECSP's can turn rich EDI data into actionable supply chain intelligence. Can help both retailers and suppliers. Solutions provide great insight into metrics that are often overlooked. Can help businesses streamline the order fulfillment processes, reduce inventory levels, sell more product and improve collaboration.